One of the worst terrorist atrocities ever committed in sub-Saharan Africa happened this past weekend in Nairobi. Over 60 dead and 200 injured. It far surpassed any single attack by the ANC in South Africa or ZANU/Zipra in Rhodesia.
Al Shabaab, the Somali based Islamic terrorists aligned with Al Qaeda have claimed responsibility. Another group with similar allegiances is a major player in the Syrian opposition fighting a civil war against the Syrian government forces.
And many in the West want to supply arms to the Syrian opposition knowing that this group would also be amongst those being supplied.
Perhaps this terrible event will persuade Western leaders to let the Syrians sort their own problems out and not supply weapons to terrorists to be used against our own citizens and other innocent people in different parts of the world.
Perhaps too, social media platforms and major international broadcasters might exercise some responsibility and stop terrorists using the likes of twitter to publicise their atrocities and communicate amongst themselves. Or prime time TV to broadcast their propaganda by relaying the terrorists own images of them inside the occupied building.
Unless cell phone and wi-fi connections had been cut off to the mall, the detailed radio and tv coverage would have informed the terrorists of the security forces every move. Sounds like aiding the enemy to me.
The Somali problem should have been dealt with years ago, but the West got cold feet after the disastrous raid by US forces resulted in casualties, a lost helicopter and a huge propaganda opportunity for the terrorists.
Later the West fiddled around for years while Somalian pirates caused havoc with shipping in the Indian Ocean and made millions in ransoms before the Russians and French navies started taking decisive action.
How many of the guns and explosives used in the Westgate Mall attack in Nairobi were financed by those ransoms?
Blood money paid to release crew members held hostage because of a lack of resolve by the West, now indirectly responsible for the murder of innocent people in Kenya. Including holiday makers and diplomats from some of the very countries who failed to take action when it was desperately needed.
This incident proved exactly how easy it is for a determined group of terrorists to carry out a deadly attack on a soft civilian target.
When religious fanatics launch campaigns of terror against neighbouring countries, no amount of foreign aid, gentle words of diplomacy or fund-raising rock concerts organised by misguided celebrities, are the answer.
In Africa, and other less developed regions, power and strength are everything. This is being clearly demonstrated in both Iraq and Afghanistan since the withdrawal of US and / or NATO forces.
It is to be expected that the Kenyan authorities, unfettered by Western concerns of protecting the human rights of terrorists, will attempt to exact retribution for this attack, and it won’t be pretty.
Instead of getting involved in the internal conflict in Syria, the West should help Kenya remove the threat from the Somalian terrorists decisively and permanently. Using whatever amount of firepower necessary to do the job properly this time.
Phase 2 should be to do the same against another group of Islamic terrorists, Boko Haram in Northern Nigeria.
Eradicating these groups is much more in Western interests than arming their counterparts in Syria. If they are not stopped, the next Saturday afternoon shopping mall attack might well be in New York, London or Toronto.
Political correctness, concern for “Human Rights” and tolerance of religious fanatics in the West have emasculated us and encouraged terrorist groups to attack us. Our refusal to accept that large parts of the world are not ready for democracy and our arrogance in trying to impose it on them have led to huge loss of life and condemned millions to live in fear and misery.
WWII was ended by the horror of two nuclear bombs, huge numbers of casualties, massive destruction, but an immediate end to the war. Somalia might not need a nuclear attack but its terrorists need exterminating by using whatever force is necessary.
Time for the West to wake up and take action, do we have leaders with the stomach to do it?
Image courtesy of idea go / FreeDigitalPhotos.net